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Chanel's Spring Show Goes Under the Sea

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Gonzalo Fuentes/Landov

Designer Karl Lagerfeld took everyone down to the dazzling depths of the ocean on Tuesday at Chanel’s spring/summer 2012 show in Paris. Having transformed the Grand Palais into a giant white seabed with white shells and sea creatures scattered in between 10-ft.-high coral structures, it was quite a sight to behold.

“When I walked in, I just gasped,” French actress Clémence Poésy told PEOPLE. “I got really excited, like a 5-year-old,” she confessed with a giggle.

The aquatic theme ran through the collection, too: from pearl-encrusted tweed dresses and iridescent sequin jackets to transparent, seaweed-print macs, the models (such as Georgia May Jagger and Miranda Kerr) were even clutching seashell bags and had pearls pinned to their wet-look hair as if they had splashed onto the catwalk from some futuristic island. Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine provided live background music for the ethereal affair, too.

Uma Thurman, dressed head-to-toe in Chanel and seated next to photographer Mario Testino, told reporters she also loved the lavish spectacle. “It was just phenomenal,” she said quickly as she dashed backstage. “The flamboyance and the scale of it was incredible.” Oui, that’s Chanel.

Chanel Fashion Show
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

–Monique Jessen